Monday, February 11, 2013

Super Bowl Cleanup

Clean up of Super Bowl 2013

Super Bowl XLVII is over, and visiting fans have stumbled to the airport or back to their French Quarter hotels. But -- unlike the lights in the Superdome -- the high-wattage spectacle surrounding the NFL’s championship game will not simply turn itself off.
Instead, a small army of workers from Jackson Square to the Superdome to Mardi Gras World will spend the rest of this week on a titanic cleanup job that began even before Beyonce took the stage or Colin Kaepernick launched his doomed comeback attempt.
“It was the most difficult event you could ever work on because it never ends,” said Arthur Boisfontaine, co-owner of a company called Crystal Clear Imaging that was hired to slap up Super Bowl-branded banners everywhere from inside the Superdome to the sides of nearby office towers. “It just goes on and you don’t sleep for like a month.”
In all, Boisfontaine, said his company put out somewhere between six or seven miles of printed fabric for the game, all of which now has to be taken down by crews on lifts and “sling stages,” the types of platforms window washers use on tall buildings. That’s not to mention the private parties the company has been setting up and tearing down around the city. Many of his staff, he said, have been working 15 and 20-hour shifts.
By halftime, they had already taken every Super Bowl banner off the barriers outside the stadium, Boisfontaine said, because “one person gets their hands on one as a souvenir and it becomes chaos.”
Gary Solomon Jr., the CEO of the Solomon Group, said his company has 10 trucks and 100 people breaking down equipment and material at some of the 15 or 20 different sites that Solomon helped stage and light for the event.
He said the four stage platforms set up for CBS broadcasts in Jackson Square were already coming down on Monday morning. But the archway over Decatur Street -- seemingly decorative but carrying an enormous flow of cables and bandwidth from the square to the “miniature city” that CBS established in an adjacent parking lot -- will remain in place until Wednesday and require some overnight street closures to bring down.

The whole thing could be wrapped up more quickly, Solomon said, but “our goal is not just to fill up trucks and take it back to the landfill.” Instead, he said the company will spend weeks after the initial teardown cataloging and packaging spare material at a warehouse in Gretna so that its available for other jobs. If a future customer wants, say, a television news desk or a wooden gazebo, they can just take it out of storage.

Jay Cicero, executive director of the Super Bowl XLVII Host Committee, said there will be a similar recycling program for all of the banners and flags around the Superdome and the Convention Center, something the NFL has done after previous Super Bowls. (He said he has a pair of shorts made out of recycled decor from Super Bowl XLIV in Miami).

“Some of it will be donated to local nonprofits that will in turn convert those raw materials into a number of different items,” Cicero said. “Shower curtains. Backpacks. Handbags.”
He said it would be hard to put an exact price tag on the whole cleanup process, which includes tearing down the four bandstands along Super Bowl Boulevard in Woldenberg Park, but concluded, “It’s millions of dollars in cleanup, to be sure.”

Home Electronics Disposal